Certificate of Peer Nonprofit Leadership

As nonprofit directors and senior staff, we often feel isolated and lonely in our mission to make a social impact while simultaneously dealing with the mountainous loads of stress put on us at work and at home.

Form a peer leadership group of twelve to sixteen nonprofit Executive Directors and senior leadership staff that are going through similar issues and have real life experience on what has worked for them and what hasn’t in leading a nonprofit. While these peer-to-peer learning groups are facilitated by The Center for Social Leadership’s President, Anthony Silard and our Best Practices Leaders, they are designed to make the participants the teachers.

Once a month you will join a relaxed, confidential, trusting environment of your peers. You will be able to comfortably share your challenges as well as successes without fear of being judged, ridiculed, or your words repeated outside of the group. (What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and what happens in your peer leadership group also stays there.) You will receive tried and tested advice from others that have gone through the same situation. As you hear about others experiences, you will come up with new ideas and strategies to put into practice in your organization. All the while you will also be helping other nonprofits to grow and succeed.


General Structure (can be customized to fit the needs of your group of nonprofit directors):

•    Each Session is 4 hours (1/2 day)
•    Sessions are usually held once a month for a full year (with the exception of August and December)
•    Alternatively, the Certificate of Peer Nonprofit Leadership schedule can be adjusted to meet the needs of the participating nonprofits, and can include grouped sessions over a few 2- or 3-day periods throughout the year
•    10 sessions x 4 hours each = 40 hours of peer-to-peer learning (75%) and structured leadership learning (25% – see below)
•    In addition to the monthly sessions, you will receive two (2) one-hour executive coaching sessions with Anthony Silard or one of our Best Practices Leaders during the course of the year to discuss your personal leadership style and specific leadership challenges
•    You will be sent five books to read during the yearlong program (Anthony Silard will select these books based on the group discussions and needs)
•    A curriculum that includes the above books and 2-3 articles or videos per month you will be expected to read/view
•    A graduation and riverboat cruise on the Potomac River where you will be able to bring a spouse, partner, or friend to celebrate your success

Session Structure:

Each session is usually structured as follows:

•    Creating an intimate environment where you truly get to know the other senior nonprofit leaders and build a supportive peer network
•    During each session, one nonprofit leader will have 40 minutes to present a significant challenge they are facing to the group and receive feedback/peer support in finding solutions/designing new strategies to meet the challenge
•    Every other nonprofit leader will have 8 to 15 minutes to share a specific challenge they are facing with the group and receive feedback/peer support in finding solutions/designing new strategies to meet the challenge
•    Additional time will be allocated to group discussion about the common challenges members are facing
•    One hour each session will be allocated to a structured nonprofit leadership training by both Anthony Silard – 6 themes to be selected by participants from CSL’s Leadership Workshops, such as:

  • Fundraising
  • How to Inspire a Collective Vision
  • The Characteristics of an Effective Nonprofit Leader
  • Leadership Communication
  • Leading in Tough Economic Times
  • Managing Change;

And CSL’s Best Practices Leaders who will visit our program on 4 occasions to facilitate trainings on themes such as:

  • Alan  Andreasen, Professor, Georgetown Business School (Social Marketing)
  • Michael Maccoby, Professor, Oxford University’s Said School of Business (Leadership Style)
  • Tony Schwartz, Author, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working and co-Author, The Power of Full Engagement (Advanced Work-Life Balance Strategies)

Who is eligible?

Anyone who is in a senior leadership role, with significant decision-making power, in a nonprofit organization.

See a list of CSL’s thousands of Nonprofit Leadership Program Alumni – nonprofit organizations that have participated in CSL’s nonprofit leadership training programs. Check out the Testimonials from some of our alumni.

How to Host a Peer Leadership Group

  • Choose a location, time and day to meet
  • Help us recruit senior nonprofit leaders to join your group
  • If you are a donor, provide full or partial scholarships for your grantees to form a group


Contact CSL
if you are interested in setting up a Certificate of Peer Nonprofit Leadership for nonprofits in your region, focus area or funding area.

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